March 15, 2013 / 7:42 AM / 5 years ago

UPDATE 1-Poland's Tauron posts unexpected Q4 profit fall

* Tauron’s Q4 net profit fell by 23 pct to $60 mln

* Q4 results hit by one-offs, higher costs (Adds more details, background)

WARSAW, Mar 15 (Reuters) - Poland’s No.2 utility Tauron on Friday reported an unexpected 23 percent fall in fourth quarter net profit due to provisions related to employee costs as well as higher labour costs.

The group’s net profit fell to 192 million zlotys ($59.98 million) in the fourth quarter. Analysts had expected it to increase by 36 percent to 307 million following the acquisition of power distributor GZE from Sweden’s Vattenfall in 2011.

“Had it not been for the one-offs, the results would be higher than expected and confirm a very high cash flow. Now the key questions regard outlook for 2013 and the dividend,” Kamil Kliszcz, analyst at DI BRE, said.

Tauron paid a dividend of 0.31 zlotys per share from 2011 profits.

PGE, Tauron’s rival and the country’s biggest utility, on Thursday also reported a fourth-quarter net loss, reflecting the impact of impairment charges and difficult market conditions.

Shares in Tauron have fallen 11 percent this year compared with a 3 percent drop in Warsaw’s main index. ($1 = 3.2012 Polish zlotys) (Reporting by Agnieszka Barteczko. Editing by Jane Merriman)

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